Global Returnable Asset Identifier

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The Global Returnable Asset Identifier (GRAI) is part of the GS1 system of standards. It is a simple tool to identify assets by type and can uniquely identify assets where required.

The GS1 Identification Key is used to identify Returnable Assets. The key is composed of a GS1 Company Prefix, Asset Type, Check Digit and optional serial number. Global Returnable Asset Identifier (GRAI) is one of the two GS1 keys for asset identification. GRAI is used to identify returnable assets. It is for re-usable packages or transport equipment, this could be a tray, pallet or a beer keg. The GRAI enables returnable assets to be identified by type or individually for tracking or sortation purposes. In simple terms this means an asset that will be sent outside the company that contains, protects or transports physical items and will be used for multiple trips. Examples are crates, bread trays, pallets or kegs of beer. The GRAI identifies the asset being used for the purpose of tracking its location and return. It can be used for tracking purposes only or as part of a hiring or rental system where companies collaborate on the use of these assets. The GRAI is an identification key that can be used globally to identify the asset. Detailed information regarding the asset will be recorded in a database and the GRAI is the key that provides the link to that information. It may be produced as a GS1-128 bar code, or held in a GS1 EPC tag or used in a database. It is also a Department of Defense (DoD) recognized, Item Unique Identification (IUID) equivalent, and may be encoded in an IUID-compliant DataMatrix.[1] The function of a GRAI is to provide an identification point which can be used to retrieve information held in a database associated that particular asset. This information can show the asset type and optionally identify the particular asset uniquely if required.


  1. ^ Military Standard Practice (MIL STD) 130N as of 01/27/13